If you have an interest in playing in a band as a UCM student—music major or not—then we have a place for you. Whether you are performing newly commissioned compositions in Carnegie Hall with the Wind Ensemble, performing with the Boston Brass and the UCM Marching Mules in Arrowhead Stadium, or recording with the UCM Jazz Ensembles in UCM’s world renowned recording studios, your experiences with a UCM Band will be rewarding and of the highest quality.
Thank you for visiting the UCM Band Program's website. Throughout this site you will find useful information about our program, people, and the experiences you can gain as a member of the UCM Band Program. It does not matter if you plan to be a music major or one of the other majors offered on our campus - if you have an interest in continuing your music-making experience as a UCM student, we have a place for you.
Choosing a college or career path is one of the most important decisions facing high school students. The faculty and staff at UCM are committed to giving you as much relevant information as possible so you are able to make an informed decision. If you would like to receive more information about the University of Central Missouri and the Band Program, please complete this very short form. Completing this form does not obligate you to anything, but will allow us to send you information that may aid in your decision about your future.
If you plan to visit the Warrensburg campus, I am very happy to visit with you and your family. If you would let your admissions representative know that you want to meet with me, they will make certain to get your visit on my calendar. I am also happy to visit via phone or email. My direct line is 660-543-4680 and you can email me at your convenience at: email@example.com.
Having been a part of this program for some time now, I find that I made the right choice in transferring to UCM after graduating from MCCKC. I feel very welcomed here as the UCM Music Department's faculty and staff are exceedingly professional and personable with their students. They take the time to get to know you, they push and challenge you, and they make sure that you not only learn, but you grow as well so that EVERYONE may be set up and ready for success now and in the future. Whether you are musically focused in vocal, instrumental, educational or technology studies, there is a great program for you and relative organizations, as well, so you can definitely feel part of the department coming in as a freshman or, like me, a transfer student. I know that I have had an amazing time here and have also found my place within UCM's tight-knit community. I am definitely proud to call myself a Mule and to be a part of UCM Music.
Many years ago I selected Central Missouri as the university I wanted to attend. I have never regretted that choice. I received an excellent education from high quality professors, who after my graduation, continued to mentor me. When those professors retired, their successors were just as friendly, supportive, and helpful as my original teachers. I gained lifelong friends and have enjoyed wonderful professional and personal relationships with many throughout these years.
Central is a school that cares about their students and their success for a lifetime. It is a place you can trust to give you straight advice and top notch instruction. I have sent many of my students to Central with full confidence that they would do well, work hard, and become successful no matter what field they chose. You always feel at home when you return. There is always a friendly face to welcome you.
Tell us about your interests by completing this short prospective member form.
You may also text the word 'Music' to 660-248-0496 to learn more about UCM Music and UCM Bands!
The UCM Marching Mules have a tradition of serving the institution as the musical ambassadors for the university community. Consisting of students from almost every department and major on campus, the Marching Mules provide excitement on and off the field during the football season. All members of the Marching Mules receive a service award for their participation, and additional scholarships may be available depending on the student's performance ability and availability to audition for other UCM Music ensembles.
For more information, please contact Professor Michael Griffith, Director of Athletic Bands.
The UCM Basketball Pep Band performs at all men's and women's home basketball games and during postseason travel for the MIAA and NCAA tournaments. In 2018, the pep band traveled with the Jennies all the way to the National Championship game, bringing home the second title in school history.
To qualify for the Basketball Pep Band, students must be members of the UCM Marching Band for at least one semester. Current freshmen who are enrolled in Marching Band are eligible to participate.
The Wind Ensemble is UCM’s premiere concert band and is open to all UCM students by audition. The Wind Ensemble performs contemporary repertoire for wind ensemble and concert band as well as some of the most important core literature.
Significant performances include the 2014 Southwest Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association at the University of Arkansas; 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2020 performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference; featured performances in New York's famed Carnegie Hall (2010 and 2016); and the UCM President's Concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The UCM Chamber Winds is considered an elite ensemble, as it consists of the principal performers in the UCM Wind Ensemble. Repertoire is chosen from both master chamber winds works, and more contemporary pieces and commissions. The ensemble is also conducted by graduate students who are working on conducting technique in their Masters of Arts degree.
Festival of Champions - October 22, 2022
The UCM Bands have been proud to host over 40 years of outstanding high school marching band competition in the Midwest. The competition is sanctioned by the Missouri High School Activities Association and provides an exciting opportunity for all students, their parents, and directors.
Homecoming Parade & Band Day - October 15, 2022
The UCM Bands host high school band programs from around the region to enjoy performing at a UCM home football game and homecoming parade in front of a large and appreciative crowd. The parade competition is sanctioned by the Missouri High School Activities Association and provides an exciting opportunity for all students.
Invitational Band Festival - Thursday, April 14, 2022
Named after the legendary composer Claude T. Smith for his devotion to music education, wind-band literature, and UCM (CMSU) the Invitational is an opportunity for students and their director to enjoy an experience performing for a visiting composer and a large, appreciative audience.
Marching Band Staff
(to contact, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whether graduates of Central Missouri State University or University of Central Missouri, our alumni have a long and loyal history with their Alma Mater. Continue your legacy by giving to the Band Development Account via the UCM Alumni Foundation or to one of our many endowed scholarships.
Alumni wishing to stay connected with the UCM Band Program should text the word 'Alumni' to 660-248-0496. You may also visit the UCM Alumni Band Webpage.
Opportunities for Alumni Engagement
Homecoming, October 15, 2022
Join alumni from the 1950s to this past year in cheering on the Mules, participating in the homecoming parade, attending the high school parade competition awards ceremony, cheering on the football team from the stands, and participating in our halftime show (no worries, we will limit the marching!). Register with the alumni band board by clicking here and enjoy a few hours with fellow alumni and current students at Homecoming!
Alumni Band Concert, February 18, 2023
Rekindle relationships with colleagues old and new. This annual event brings alumni back to the Warrensburg campus to have a few hours of fun and music making in Hendricks Hall. To register for the Alumni Band Concert, please click here.
Warrensburg Community Band; Summer Schedule
Contact Dr. Anthony Pursell, Director
The first band at what is now known as the University of Central Missouri was formed during the 1899-1900 academic year by Robert Zoll, an Instructor in Drawing. By 1904 there were two bands, and in 1909, under the direction of David W. Schlosser, the band was playing at chapel and for basketball games. The band acquired uniforms with navy-blue coats and hats in 1915 while R. J. Meyer was the director.
Don Essig, who established a strong reputation as a director of circus and vaudeville bands, served as conductor from 1920 to 1941. Mr. Essig acquired a large collection of historic musical instruments and vaudeville-style sound-producing novelty devices such as alarm clocks, canes, and more. These are now a renowned permanent collection housed in the Kirkpatrick Library and the Utt Music Building on UCM campus. From the 1920s-1960s, student groups toured Greater Kansas City presenting programs in high schools and communities using these instruments.
Clifton A. Burmeister further developed UCM Bands as Director of Bands in 1945 when many World War II veterans with strong performance skills returned to school. The following members of the band during this period achieved state and/or national recognition: Frank Fendorf (high school band director at Chillicothe, Vice President of Wingert-Jones Music, Inc., Honorary Associate Member of the American Bandmasters Association); Edgar Summerlin (composer of the first Jazz Mass which was shown nationally on NBC Television); William [Bill] G. Mack (high school band director at Park Hill, Director of Bands at Missouri Western University, President of Missouri Music Educators Association); Lowell H. Brunner (high school band director at Odessa and at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis); and Tom Price (high school band director at Cameron). Fendorf, Mack, Brunner and Price are all elected members to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame. Mack, Brunner and Price are elected members to the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Further indication of the band’s excellence may be found in the band library where compositions by Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Felix Mendelssohn, and similar composers were added during Burmeister’s tenure.
In 1947 the school was emerging from World War II, and the Navy training program held on the campus during wartime was being deactivated. The college was in the process of developing a new school spirit, and Dean I. L. Peters approached Clifton Burmeister, Director of Bands, and told him a school fight song was needed for the football game the next weekend. The composition, Go Mules!, was written over the weekend by Burmeister and has been adopted as the official school fight song. Mr. Burmeister was a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and later said that he patterned the song after the Northwestern Fight Song. The original score is framed and is on display in the Utt Music Building Instrumental Rehearsal Room. The current arrangement was written by David Holsinger in 1967. David was a graduate assistant with the band and a composition major. The extended second ending was written by Dr. Russell Coleman the same year.
The University Alma Mater was the winning entry in a 1962 contest and was composed by William S. Stoney, a Music Department faculty member. The words are by Carole Grainer. The current arrangement was written by Dr. Russell Coleman.
The program remained relatively stable until a new era began under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Rousseau (1962-64). The university began to experience enormous growth and larger numbers of instrumental music majors arrived on campus.
Dr. Russell Coleman became Director of Bands in 1964. The first time a band from Central played at a state, regional, or national event was in 1969 when the Concert Band was invited to present a concert at the Southwestern Division Conference of the Music Educators National Conference in St. Louis. Previously, the only off-campus concerts by Central Bands were occasional tours to play at regional high schools. This concert established the Central Concert Band as a major ensemble at the state, regional, and later national level. Since that time, they have been invited to present concerts at ten MMEA programs, a second SWMENC concert, a Southwestern Division Conference program for CBDNA, and twice at the International Convention of the American Bandmasters Association. Nineteen members of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association have been guest conductors with the Concert Band.
Beginning in the mid 1970s the band developed a close relationship with Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith, nationally recognized composers of music for the concert band. The UCM Band recorded many of their new compositions for distribution by the Summit Publishing Company and the Wingert-Jones Publishing Company. The band also recorded over 150 new compositions for the Belwin Publishing Company for use in their promotions. The Frank Erickson and Claude T. Smith Library containing their publications is housed in the Utt Music Building.
During his tenure as Director of Bands, Dr. Coleman was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. After his retirement, he was elected to the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame and the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame.
In the Spring of 2010 & 2016 the University Wind Ensemble presented concerts in Carnegie Hall in New York City under the direction of Dr. Scott Lubaroff..
The Marching Mules gained widespread recognition through their performances at professional sporting events. The first performance was for a Kansas City Chiefs game in 1963 and since that time they have performed 40 times for the Chiefs at Municipal and Arrowhead Stadiums. Their performances have been covered by ABC, CBS and NBC television. The Marching Mules performed four times for the St. Louis Cardinals. Performances for the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Athletics Baseball teams including the opening game three times, the American League Championship Playoffs, and the World Series.
Graduates include numerous public school band directors, university applied music professors, and currently five university band directors. Two graduates of the program, Dr. David Holsinger and Dr. Gordon Ring, have been winners of prestigious national band composition contests.
The following have served as Director of Bands:
1899-1909 Robert L. Zoll
1909-1911 David Schlosser
1911-1913 Orley H. See
1913-1918 R. J. Meyer
1918-1919 Josephine Dixon
1920-1941 Don Essig
1941-1945 Al Bleckschmidt
1945 Marion Davies
1945-1952 Clifton A. Burmeister
1952-1956 Frank W. Lidral
1956-1962 Donald O. Braatz
1962-1964 Dr. Eugene Rousseau
1964-1996 Dr. Russell Coleman
1996-2004 Dr. Patrick Casey
2004-2005 Dr. Robert Gifford, Acting Director
2005-2017 Dr. Scott Lubaroff
2017-Present Dr. Anthony Pursell
Submitted May 5, 2010 by:
Dr. Russell Coleman
Director of Bands (1964-1996)
Central Missouri State University
Sources of material include information found in the University Rhetor housed in the University Kirkpatrick Library, and information provided by Frank Fendorf and Dr. Scott Lubaroff.